Tag Archives: markets

Shingle the Roof

I was walking around Amherst today and decided to stroll through the Amherst farmer’s market.

I, unexpectedly, saw this folk-countra trio playing some good traditional style string music.

They are called Shingle the Roof.

Playing for a gathering crowd.

New England based, Shingle the Roof has a whole list of shows to come, according to their MySpace page, and consists of Kate Spencer, Tim Woodbridge, and Jerry Devonkaitis.

Taking tips in a good ol' gas jug.

The band’s story is feature on their MySpace page, but what is the most ironic thing for me, is that the stringed instruments store, Maple Leaf Music, that Spencer opened in 1979 was the shop my first real guitar came from.

Pretty neat!

I went to the shop with my mom when I was 13, picked out a guitar I hardly new how to play, and from the moment on, the next five years of my life were set. I wrote music, took lessons, formed a band, played in a duo, and played shows at every chance I got.

While my music career dwindled when I took on my degree in journalism and this career in film, my playing turned into a source for music soundtracks for my videos and documentaries.

I don’t talk about playing music or anything much these days, but it’s something that definitely changed my life, and learning about Shingle the Roof was quite the surprise today.

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London’s Markets

London’s Markets

If there’s any way to get to know London, get away from the sites and start exploring its side streets. The best side streets to start with are those that host markets.

My Top 4:

  1. Portobello Road Market
  2. Brick Lane Market
  3. Camden Market
  4. Borough Market

Portobello Road

Many would agree Portobello is the mother of all markets, which caters to the young and old. The best day to go is on Saturday as even on Sunday less than half the street vendors set up shop. Go in the morning beginning at the Ladbroke Grove (tube stop) end and work your way south towards Notting Hill Gate (tube stop). Much of the road is filled with old flea market items and some antiques that could be your favorite London souvenir. This is also the best place to get fresh produce, fish, meat, pastries, goodies – and lunch. Several giant pans of paella, gourmet sandwiches, crepes, sausages, African foods, and French goodies is just some of the dishes you have to choose from. Crowds are massive but tourists and locals mingle alike, just be cautious of pickpocket. Have your camera ready to shoot as you never know who or what you will see. Check out the Banksy graffiti at the top, note the road gets more posh as you head south, and don’t forget to check out a flat where George Orwell once lived.

There will be several performers.

Food for lunch, food for dinner, food for later.

 

Brick Lane Market

Brick Lane in east London (Aldgate East tube stop) is home to many Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants and businesses. Go any time of the week for good curry, spicy samosas, and other sweets, but Sunday is the best day to visit Brick Lane as the street and side streets boast flea market goods, delicious unique food made right in front of you, and the best used and new fashions. While many of the vendors are Indian, there is a huge young British twenty-something hipster culture. You will find clubs and bars pumping danceable music even in the middle of the day. The street also has to remarkable graffiti art. At the southern end of the market is the Whitechapel Art gallery – small but worth a pop in.

Brick Lane.

 

Paste and paper street art.

Spray street art.

Camden Market

If you are or you like punk-hippie-young-earthy cultures check out Camden market (Camden Town tube stop) on Saturday or Sunday. You can get a tattoo, piercing, eat delectable food for cheap, catch a show, buy some spiked leather, trendy clothing, or some of your favorite hits on vinyl. It’s definitely worth a visit, even the architecture is like nothing else in London. Definitely don’t go during the week as nothing is really happening.

Borough Market

Borough Market is the best place in London to grab a healthy, cheap, gourmet lunch, fine meat, wine, and produce on a Saturday afternoon. Nestled between brick buildings and archways on the south bank, this is definitely on hot spot for locals and tourists alike. Take the tube to St Paul’s cathedral, cross the millennium bridge, maybe pop in to the Tate Modern, make your way past the Globe, and dig in.

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Photo of the Day – Clever Graffiti

April 11, 2010

Went to Brick Lane market today. The area is home to a to a large population of Indians and Bangladeshis, but it also hosts a unique entertainment club and graffiti biking riding culture.

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Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market is definitely one London site hyped up by travel books and site seers, and I’d say it does live up to its reputation. People who want to see the whole market and road should start from the north at the Ladbroke Grove tube stop and make their way south east towards the Nottinghill Gate tube stop.

Starting at the top are clothes, clothes and more clothes, vintage and trendy. But here’s the thing – these clothes are cheaper than those down by Nottinghill Gate.

Used clothes and yard sale items.

You will also find more artisans at this part of the road than at the bottom where most of the items tend to be specialized and shop oriented, as well as more expensive.

Bangles and bracelets.

 

Leather bound books.

Further down, things get a little more trendy and mass-produced. A lot of these items can be found elsewhere than Portobello Road Market, so keep than in mind when spending money becuase it’s easy to do here.

Trendy bags.

Soon, one will start to see lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables stands, candy stands, paella stands, bread and cheese stands – all kinds of mouth-watering-food-stands, as well as side-street shops and restaurants at a somewhat affordable price. You just have to scout out where you want to score your bargain. One will also encounter some interesting characters and out of the ordinary street performers who will probably put a smile on your face.

One swinging group.

 

What characters one does find.

Lady singing.

If you’re lucky you’ll spot a cute unique tea set for under 10 Pounds, a vintage film camera, or a zebra skin.

8 Pounds

And then you will notice how posh things are getting. Not only will you be paying attention to pickpocketers, but you’ll be gripping your cash.

Posh car.

 

Posh and colourful.

And, if you pay enough attention and make it to the end of Portebello Road, you may be pleasantly surprized to find the house where George Orwell once resided.

Orwell, writer and literary journalist, lived here.

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Photo of the Day – Camden Night & Crescent Moon

January 17, 2010

The view at the edge of Camden Market.

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